Greetings and welcome to The Hot Seat! This is a program where I get to take our favorite Heroes and Heroines and put them in the hot seat for some much desired insights and a bit of fun trivia. Results are bound to vary!
My guest today is Olivia Chandler from the Women’s Fiction (I would also say Romance): “In the Best Interest of The Child” and the highly anticipated sequel coming soon, “In The Best Interest of The Child: Family Matters” by Felicia Denise.
AC: Thank you for being here today, Olivia, I know you’re a very busy woman.
Let me set the scene here, audience, Miss Chandler doesn’t think she’s the knock out of the courtroom, but I think a certain someone would disagree. At 5’7″, she has light brown eyes, long black hair and loves adding a pop of cheerful color to her business ensembles. It’s royal purple today.
AC: Okay, let’s get started. Olivia can you tell us a little about yourself? Where you’re from and how you ended up in Spring Falls, Minnesota as a child advocate attorney?
OC: I was a foster care kid. My family was in a car accident when I was a kid. My daddy was killed. My mom was, er… well, she was unable to care for me anymore. Having no other family, there was only one place for me to go… hell on earth. As it turns out, there was an inheritance from my daddy when I aged out of the foster care system. I went to college and became a child advocate attorney to keep children from going through the hell I did. (Looks down and lowers her voice) I wish it weren’t the case, but a lot of the abuse and neglect I went through is still with me.
AC: That must’ve been tough, Olivia, I’m sorry. I’m sure that didn’t make it easy to form any kind of relationship. What’s your view on romantic laiasons?
OC: I didn’t believe in them. What was the point? You allow someone into your heart… and they leave. Then I met Bruce. I don’t think that way anymore, but it’s still not easy to let someone in.
AC: Very understandable, but I’m curious, what was your first impression of Bruce?
OC: I thought Bruce was this huge annoying flirt. And adorable!
AC: Do you think Bruce has changed your previous views on relationships then, or confirmed them?
OC: Oh, he’s definitely changed them! I never saw relationships in my future and this big, brawny guy comes along and bumrushes his way into my life. (Flashes a big grin) I’m so glad he did. He’s so loving. Bruce taught me how to love.
AC: (grins right along with Olivia) Yes, he’s quite the charmer! Would you label yourself a social butterfly, family gal, career-oriented or a little of each?
OC: Career-oriented because of what I do. My actions directly impact a child’s future and I do not take that responsibility for granted, so it takes up a lot of my time. But… um, I would like to be a family gal too. I didn’t grow up with family and am lacking in family bonding skills, but Bruce’s gigantic tribe of a family are teaching me.
AC: If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
OC: My past.
AC: You strike me as a very driven woman. What would you say your biggest mission or goal is in life?
OC: To keep children in homes where they’re loved and nurtured.
AC: That’s quite a commendable mission to have. If Bruce were sitting here, what do you think he’d say your best quality is and would you agree with him?
OC: He admires my passion for my work and my compassion for those less fortunate. I can’t say if agree or disagree. Would I be the same person without the childhood I had? My ‘qualities’ were shaped by circumstances. Not sure if that counts.
AC: I think it does, but we’ll move onto something a little more fun. Like compatibility in those spicier parts of a relationship. How would you describe your ideal lover?
OC: (grins real big) I had no clue until I met Bruce. I never had true relationships. More like friends-with-benefits and hook-ups. I didn’t allow myself to feel anything for my partners… they weren’t going to be around long enough.
Then… Bellamy. He’s giving… always putting me first. He’s playful, he doesn’t have that macho thing going on. There’s no dominating or submission… just mutual surrender.
AC: If Bruce could seduce you with his culinary skills, what dish would be the one to have you eating out of his hands hands, per se?
OC: Bellamy can make a Chicken Pot Pie that would upset most grandmothers! Light, flaky crust, tender chicken, veggies with just enough crunch. He totally kills it!
AC: (note to self, get recipe from Bruce when he comes in for his interview…) So, do you play any instruments, or sing? What kind of music do you listen to?
OC: I play a little piano and my singing is best left in the shower! I love orchestrations and arrangements – full orchestras and bands… no synthesized music. I like women with power voices like Anita Baker, Freda Payne, Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Marilyn McCoo, Melissa Manchester, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Adele, Tamia, Kelly Clarkson and old Mariah Carey. Not a fan of the kittenish, trying-to-stay-young Mariah. (Laughs) And I can tell by your face you’re wondering how I know a few of them, but my parents loved music. The clearest memories I have of our family life is the music.
AC: (smiles brightly) We have that in common. Fans are dying to know: Do you have any hidden tattoos or piercings?
AC: What’s the #1 item on your Bucket List?
OC: To drive a race car! And know what? Bellamy used to race cars! I see this happening… if he can get past worrying about me getting hurt.
AC: Now, that would be fun! If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
OC: The Ionian Islands off the coast of Greece. Trust me, I will get there!
AC: Outside of Bruce, who are the most important people in your life?
OC: Willis Benson, executor of my father’s estate, who fought for my inheritance even when he didn’t know where I was and Margot Schultz, my office manager… and friend.
AC: I love Margot. What is your greatest regret?
OC: I’d rather not answer that, AC, if you don’t mind.
AC: Of course not. How about one of your guilty pleasures, instead?
OC: A big pitcher of Cranberry-Lime Mojitos and several hours of black and white movies pre-1960. I love them all – the gangster flicks, war movies, musicals… and the love stories. ‘An Affair to Remember’ is my favorite.
AC: What is the one thing in this world you would never do?
OC: Turn my back on a child. Any child. I know what it feels like to… to feel worthless, unimportant, and unloved. I will never do that to a child.
AC: Are you keeping a secret? Can you share it with us, we won’t tell?
OC: (Laughs) No, I learned my lesson about secrets. But I do believe Bellamy has one. He doesn’t want me to sell my house, but keeps talking about us ‘living together’…so we’ll see.
AC: (tries not to squeal like a fangirl) What would you do to win the heart of Bruce Bellamy?
OC: That’s just it, AC, I didn’t have to do anything. Since the day we met, he’s known who I was inside… even when I didn’t. He said I made his heart restless and hungry. (Grins brightly again) Isn’t that hot? I was damaged and he still wanted me. He once told me love doesn’t heal everything, but it can hold you up while you heal. (Looks down at her hands) I don’t know where I’d be without Bruce. It only took acceptance on my part to get him, but I’d fight the devil himself to keep Bruce.
AC: I’d second that, Miss Chandler, he’s definitely one worth fighting for! (Turns to audience) Thank you for being with us today and if you haven’t grabbed your copy of “In The Best Interest of The Child”, please take the opportunity to do so now with the link below. It’s everything you could hope for in a book and then some; real, emotional, hilarious, charming, heartfelt, steamy and best yet, there’s more to come!
Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, underserved child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.
Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.
Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s ever had…or wanted.
Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.
A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.
Free on Kindle Unlimited!
Also Available in Print!